“Each goal and strategy is an expression of the Gospel values of Jesus’ teachings and the example of his life. In following in his footsteps, we bring these theological constructs to life in a new way in a new time.”
- The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, “Mission Strategy: Intro and Theological Foundations”
If the mission strategy is a grassroots diocesan effort, our theology and faith are the seeds from which it grows. When the mission strategy task force first gathered, before any priority work was discussed, our theological foundations were explored. They are at the heart of why we are doing this work, and they are the tenets that guide us.
We encourage you to explore and reaffirm your own theological foundations. You will deepen your ability to see the role you can play and the gifts you might offer in the important work we will do together in the years to come.
Bishop Sam Rodman’s mission strategy convention address (coming soon)
OUR CALL TO MISSION
Why is this work important now?
In an unprecedented time of pandemic and global upheaval, there is great opportunity for us to live into the Gospel invitation to love God and love our neighbor. The Holy Spirit is present and stirring in the Diocese of North Carolina. This stirring is rooted in the Jesus movement: GO and make disciples who are making a difference. We are called together in worship, and we are sent out with boldness and with joy, in mission. Our mission and call is at the center of our Baptismal Covenant. It is the work of Becoming Beloved Community.
What do we mean by “mission”?
A secular definition of “mission” is “a vocation or calling,” or “a task regarded as a very important duty.”That is true of the work we are called to do, but our mission goes deeper. Our prayer book defines mission as the call of the Church “to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Christ.” Mission and reconciliation are connected.
Mission begins with baptism and its covenant. We are baptized as followers of Jesus in order to be sent out with the Good News of the Gospel, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being. The Creed reminds us we are part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church. An apostle is one who is sent. It is time for us to live more fully into the apostolic dimension of our call.
We are missional. The movement is driven by the Holy Spirit. We are being sent. Our mission is rooted in God’s desire to have a close relationship with each of us and all of us. Our mission is to walk with God, to find God in one another, and to walk with one another in love.
What does the call to mission look like?
We are a diverse diocese, comprised of many people with many gifts. In Christ, our diverse gifts serve a common mission and purpose: Becoming Beloved Community. Becoming Beloved Community is about who we are for others. It is more about movement than institution.
Our mission is contextual. We are to called to “bloom where we are planted.” Our mission grows out of the grass roots of our congregations and communities. It is a call to deepen and expand what we are already doing!
Our mission is collaborative. We are called to do this work together. And we are called to recognize our values, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in those around us.
Our mission is not comfortable. Growth in the church is not simply external and based on numbers. Growth is internal and comes from a stretching and strengthening within each of us. And we are called to be open to words, languages and cultural expressions that can translate our mission into the vernacular of our current context, that are accessible to the communities we serve and to the people who are our neighbors.
Our mission is centered and rooted in Christ. “We are very members incorporate in the mystical body of Christ, the blessed company of all faithful people.”
How is our mission carried out?
Collaboration and intersection are the keys. Our mission invites all of us to be transformed by the work we are called to do and by the people we partner with and serve. Our mission is connected to the biblical narrative of journey, exodus, liberation and new creation. Our mission is to dream the dream of God in our time, in this place, and to turn the nightmare of our present reality into God’s promise of Becoming Beloved Community.
THOUGHTS ON PRAYER PRACTICES
We have the opportunity to incorporate our mission priorities more deeply into the rich tradition of prayer and worship already available to us in Episcopal tradition. Practices do not have to be “new” but could instead be a way of going deeper through spiritual practices already in place.
Download expanded thoughts and suggestions around prayer practice.
- Form congregational prayer groups around Daily Office services, including Morning Prayer and Compline
- Form silent/meditative prayer groups committed to orient toward the contemplation of the five mission priorities.
- Include the New Prayer for Mission in litany form
- Offer practices in various forms. Some would involve the entire congregation and some would only include small groups. Some could (and probably would) be online.
- Connect our prayer practices and Eucharistic worship with our five mission priorities. It invites us to recognize the grace we receive in the Eucharist is also present to and with us in the world around us and prepares us better to love our neighbors as ourselves.
- New Prayer for Mission
- Book of Common Prayer
- Daily Office | Daily Readings | Daily Devotions
- Gospel-Based Discipleship